It is good to be back in Nebraska. This is our third tour here and we have come to regard Nebraska as home... although I would never deny Chicago as my true home, because then I would be a traitor like Michael Jordan when he said he would never play for any other team but Chicago and then he went and played for the Firecrackers... or whoever they were. I would never do that. Chicago is in my blood, Nebraska is in my zip code. Now, all of you city folk out there do not raise your nose to me and say "Ewwwww! Cornfields and Dusty Roads and Cows OH MY!" I do not miss DC living at all I tell you. This is why...
This morning my husband had to be at an appointment on base at 8 a.m. I set the alarm for 7 a.m. and he was able to shower, have a leisurely and healthy breakfast and arrive at his appointment 10 minutes early. Nice. In DC he would have had to wake up at 5:30 a.m. and run around like a chicken with his head cut off and end up late to the appointment because there was an accident on I95.
Life seems simpler in Nebraska... calmer. I have come to a conclusion as to why life is smooth here and crazy in DC.
First of all, prime time television does not start until 8 p.m. in DC. That means you have to wait around until 10 to even see the good shows and you aren't even watching the News to see what the weather will be like until 11 p.m. By the time you straighten up the family room, let out the dog, turn off all the lights, throw one last load of clothes in the dryer, lock all the doors, check on the kids and brush your teeth is is midnight! If you would like to have "relations" with your spouse you aren't even getting to bed until 12:07 a.m.
In Nebraska, prime time starts at 7 p.m. That means we are in bed a full hour earlier than DC people. The only time a Nebraskan stays up until midnight is on a Saturday night after they have had a couple of friends over, drank half a keg, danced with the neighbor's cat, sang "I Will Survive" at the top of their lungs and passed out on the cool comfortable bathroom floor. Weekends are best...
DC people have to wake up at ungodly hours in order to commute to work. If you have to be at work by 8, you must be out of bed by 5:30. This offers you the time to shower, possibly go to the bathroom, eat a slice of cake left on the counter the night before by a child who decided they didn't like the icing and be on the road for the first part of your driving experience. First you drive your car to the commuter lot where you will drive around for 20 minutes trying to find a spot close to the bus lines but give up and end up parking 3 miles down the road where you will have to huff it double time in order to make the morning bus. By the time you get to the bus lines your find out that you have missed the bus because it was 3 minutes early so you have to "slug" in with a complete stranger in their car which is full of cigarette butts, empty Starbucks cups and a severed head in the backseat. You don't ask questions because you are not allowed to talk (slug rules... look it up http://www.slug-lines.com/) you shrug off the severed head and hop in. Once you are on your way at a fast 35 mph on the highway, you find out there was an accident in the HOV lanes and your speed slows to a turtle crawl. By the time you get to the Pentagon, you still have to run at least 1.5 miles from the entrance to your office in the maze. You sit down at your desk at 8 a.m. on the dot! Success! You planned your journey well.
If you don't want to take the bus in, you can always metro. You would have to get up at the same time and have the same type of morning as the bus/slug people, only when you get to the metro parking lot you will corkscrew your way up to the top searching endlessly for that one lone parking space that may possibly be by the level 3 walkway. You give up and park on the top and then jog down the stairs because the elevator is broken. Once on the platform, your Smartcard does not work so you have to wait behind your turnstile with a line of angry, tired commuters behind you calling you foul names because your Smartcard is stupid. Finally you are let through and you get to the platform just as your train is leaving the station and you look up to read the screen that tells you that the next train is 20 minutes late due to "delays on the Blue Line." Once you are at the Pentagon, you still have 1.5 miles to walk/run/sprint in order to get to your office. Again, if timed correctly, you will make it.
In Nebraska, the only time you will wake up at 5:30 is when your neighbor Bubba's dog starts to bark. You will lay in bed for a moment wondering if you should go shoot it with your son's new BB gun and just when you are about to get out of bed you hear your other neighbor, Jed, open his window and yell "BUBBA! SHUT THAT DAMN DOG UP!" then you hear Bubba say "OOPS, SORRY, I WAS IN THE TOILET! I DIDN'T HEAR HIM BARKIN'" You are back to sleep by 5:34.
Morning commute consists of driving your car from your home directly to your office. You may have to wait in line at the base gates for a measly 3 minutes or so, but that is about it.
So, to recap... I don't miss DC living, but I do miss my DC friends! I will be dreaming of you when you are in traffic this morning. If you ever long for the simple life come on out! I will be sure to let Bubba know so that he can buy a keg and tie up his dog.
Oh-I haven't forgotten to fill yo all in about our housing adventure. I promise to update tomorrow... right now I have to go put the cows out to pasture.